RADIATION fears have led villagers to decide firmly against a supertip in their back garden.

Astley Green people are adamant they don't want a doorstep mega-dump on a part-reclaimed colliery wasteland - in any shape or form.

After a couple of weeks spent studying a lengthy planning application by Terry Adams Limited, Astley Green Residents Against Tipping (AGRAT) are increasingly concerned about the environmental implications on the canalside site.

AGRAT's Ingrid Berry warned:"We're worried about radioactivity. Terry Adams commissioned a MAFF survey which highlighted arsenic contamination on the site.

"But there is proof commercial tips give off radioactive gas."

And AGRAT investigators say a group of waste disposers - the Environmental Services Association, headed by Terry Adams, - want tipping 'land banks' within Green Belt areas nationwide.

Higher Green resident Chris Goodall told The Journal if tipping went ahead the village would be in danger of losing its identity.

"The plans include a new road from the East Lancashire Road at Morleys Bridge to Lower Green Lane. But nowhere is there any mention of removing that road once tipping is completed.

Another AGRAT leader, Jay Beamish, of Higher Green Lane, said:"Terry Adams is not an environmental saviour, but he seems to think he is. None of us are against profit but the only reason he wants to come down here is that this is a big hole that is worth a small fortune.

"The planning application says the company has no plans for dumping toxic waste - but it doesn't say they won't ever dump such substances."

Villagers are still angry about the state the colliery tip was left in after coal from waste extraction and half-hearted landscaping in the 1980s.

Residents argue that site restoration has been held back because the latest plans for the site would make that unnecessary, although that would flaunt conditions of the mineral extraction permission.

And they say they have no confidence in after use promises.

One resident warned:"Looking from the top of Vicars Hall Bridge towards Boothstown you can see first-hand what landfill looks like. Farmland and wildlife rich wetlands disappeared and all that's left are ugly mounds.

"Is that what we want to see on the other side between Vicars Hall Lane and Lower Green Lane?

"It might be better to let nature continue doing its work."

AGRAT's Tony McManus queried whether an estimated £4-5m would really be spent on site restoration, while Mr Beamish doubted whether claims of 40-50 decibels site noise level estimates could be met.

"That's quieter than a library," he laughed.

But he wasn't smiling at the prospect of heavy waste lorries trundling across the Moss along a "new" road from the East Lancs Road to a Lower Green Lane roundabout near Woodburns Row.

Now AGRAT is urging individuals opposed to the tip to object in writing to:Wigan Council Planning Department, Civic Buildings, New Market Street, Wigan, WN1 1PR.

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